Over three weeks students in the first year BA (Hons) Art History and Curating course at Manchester School of Art, were asked to investigate the relationship between food, art and culture utilising artefacts from MMU Special Collections. As a result they curated and installed three displays that explored the different functions and changing forms of tableware.
Students’ review of their exhibition
The first thing you are drawn to is the text panel and graphic that introduces the rationale of the exhibition. The image of the eye with the knife and fork creates a clear connection between the underlying themes and the artefacts selected. What is gained from the rationale is that the exhibition contains artefacts relating to food collected throughout the ages ranging from a beer bottle dating from 1868 to a gravy bowl dating from 1989. There are a wide range of artefacts collected from the MMU Special Collections.
The exhibition is well thought out, each artefact has been carefully selected to connect to the theme Feast for the Eyes. However, in the resulting displays the connections made are not always clear. Specifically the relationships between the books and artefacts in the first cabinet. Although, the lighting is not ideal, the artefacts are still presented well and are easy to view. We feel the use of the display cabinets creates more of an active experience for the visitor as they have the opportunity to walk around the cases to see each artefact in its entirety.
To fully appreciate the experience and artefacts MMU Special Collections has to offer you should visit the Feast for the Eyes exhibition held on the ground floor of the Manchester Metropolitan University Library from 28 January to 18 February 2016.